When the CBA season concluded its sixth year of operations five months ago, it may have culminated eight weeks of domestic league competition, but it also marked the beginning of the offseason international calendar.
Whether one is a player for a club that went undefeated in the regular season (Indianapolis) or a team that only won once this year (Baltimore, Illinois, Jackson); whether one hoisted a championship trophy for the third consecutive year (Fort Wayne) or a player that has never participated in CBA competition - the goal is the same for all athletes in the minor league basketball industry: how to advance their individual careers in a positive direction.
It is allowing players the opportunity to achieve this personal aspiration that has been the focal point of the CBA's mission objective since its inception. And this is why the offseason marks the most important and critical time period for the league as, through its networking, marketing, and promotion, a handful of players see lifelong dreams come to fruition.
With three still months still remaining in the 2018 calendar, over 30 CBA current players and alumni have received offers from international clubs and/or have had the opportunity to play on foreign soil:
As players have been receiving opportunities around the globe, the CBA has continued to solidify its relationship in the Caribbean. Earlier this year, the CBA sent nine players to the islands of Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis, where all of the players helped their respective teams advance to the postseason, with Baltimore's Torey Fassett leading his Flyers Basketball Club to a championship trophy in June and earned himself league MVP honors.
This summer, Illinois Coal Miners head coach, John Spezia, who was named as the Antigua & Barbuda national team head coach as part of the league's partnership with the Caribbean island, led the national team to a silver medal second-place showing in Suriname in the Caribbean Basketball Championship.
The CBA served as the official title sponsor for the Antigua & Barbuda national team, providing all the uniforms and apparel for the players, coaches, and administrative staff, as well receiving the primary and secondary sponsor logo designation on all FIBA-approved game-day uniforms, warm-up apparel, and staff apparel.
With the success of the relationship between the CBA from January to June in the domestic ABBA season, coupled with Antigua's national team success in July through CBA coaches, the CBA and the Caribbean island are looking forward to the next phase of advancing the partnership between the two parties.
In three months (January 2019), the CBA will return back to the Caribbean, as part of the CBA Global Opportunities Program, and bring a new class of CBA players to the island to try out for each of the region's Division-I teams. This year, eight players from the CBA were selected by teams in Antigua and one player from St. Kitts. Next year, potentially up to 20 players could be selected. For prospective players interested in registering for this tryout opportunity, visit http://www.playcba.com/global or http://www.playcba.com/registration
Since 2013, the Central Basketball Association has helped over 210 players receive opportunities to play on international soil and has expanded its unprecedented influence, network, and relationship across the globe. With the CBA Global Opportunities Program scheduled to take players overseas in January 2019 and the 2019 CBA season set to begin in approximately five months, the short-term and long-term future of the league appears better than ever.
(Photo courtesy of: Gemma Hazelwood)